Chanel Gounden, 23, attacked, escapes rape, Lynn-Ann Flats, Amanzimtoti July 21
28 July 2011 Journalist Earl Baillache reports in Look Local Caxton news that Chanel ounden (23) was leaving for work at 6.30am when she was grabbed from behind after opening her vehicle and placing her laptop inside.
Her attacker, who she didn’t see, held a screwdriver to her back and told her it was a gun. He demanded her bakkie keys and asked for her gate remote.
She told him she did not have a remote as her mother opens the gate for her. He forced her into the complex’s rubbish bin room, gagged her, tied her up with clothing and forced himself on her.
Fortunately, another tenant leaving for work, listening to music on her cellphone, disturbed him.
He casually took Chanel’s laptop out of the bakkie, greeted the tenant and walked up the complex’s stairs.
He got away with Chanel’s laptop, bakkie keys, a camera valued at R3,000, a calculator valued at R1,500, wallet and cellphone.
The cellphone was left on until Saturday, July 23.Her family believes her attacker either lives in the complex or was visiting.
When Chanel’s mother, Noline Naidoo, walked out onto her balcony and didn’t see her drive out, she went to investigate.
Chanel managed to dislodge her gag and her mother heard her sobbing. She found her tied up in the bin room. The incident has left Chanel traumatised.
"She hasn’t been sleeping or eating," said Noline. "All she does is cry. Today (Tuesday, July 26) is the first day she left the flat."
Chanel has received two counselling sessions from Amanzimtoti Trauma Unit.
Her ordeal has left Noline and Chanel’s aunt, Angie Pakkiri, who also resides in the complex, furious that the body corporate has done nothing to inform tenants of the incident or warn them to be aware.
"She could have died in that room and we wouldn’t have known," said Angie. "The next time could be even more serious if the problem isn’t addressed. We have had no contact from the body corporate or the chairman since Thursday. The bin room is still unlocked."
The family said there were a number of recent vehicle break-ins at the complex. When Chanel was working in Piet Retief, she came home on the weekend and left her suitcases in her vehicle.
The next morning, her suitcases were found in the bin room where the thief had rifled through them.
"We believe these incidents are being carried out by someone inside the complex," said Angie. "It makes sense. Why didn’t he rob the tenant that disturbed him of her cellphone and her gate remote to get out? How did he get into the complex?"
Chairman of the board of trustees of Lynn-Ann Court, Piet du Toit, said he will put it to the board and the body corporate to find a solution to the problem.
"One of the expensive solutions is to hire a security guard," he said.
"Even more disturbing is that after the incident, someone placed our CCPO board over the electronic eye to keep the gate open."
Piet confirmed two vehicle break-ins had occurred at the complex in recent months and both were reported to the police.
Regarding Thursday’s incident, he said he had not had a report back from the investigating officer.